There are a few laws that must be followed in Montana when you create a rental application for tenants. Failure to comply with these rules could lead to serious legal consequences and allow the tenant to sue.
You can charge as much as you wish as a rental application fee. There are no laws in Montana providing a set limit, although it is recommended to only charge enough to cover the costs of any background checks. Any amount charged to the tenant is also non-refundable.
Montanadoesn’t set any limits on how much you can charge as a security deposit. However, it is recommended not to charge more than 1-2 months rent for this amount (MT Code § 70-25-201).
Housing Discrimination Law
There are no set laws in Montana that specifically limit housing discrimination. However, all states must adhere to the Fair Housing Act (FHA). The FHA is a federal law that prevents landlords from discriminating against tenants based on their:
Notice of Eligibility
Tenants must be told about any specific screening criteria, as well as the reasons that they could be denied or approved by the landlord. To show that this information has been shared, a signature of acknowledgment from the tenant is required.
Consent Credit Check
Under the Federal Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), tenants being screened in Montana must consent to any credit checks you wish to carry out. To make sure you comply with the law, the applicant must provide written acknowledgment of the screening on the application form.